December 14, 2007
The subject of which Spanish Bible to use is a theme that many are very passionate about and it has brought great controversy to the Fundamental Spanish world. However I believe the time of reconciliation has arrived.
I should say before hand that it is not my desire to be contentious or rude toward others that use other Bible versions in Spanish. In my Christian life I have come across many difficult decisions that have required sacrifice and courage to make. The topic of the Bible is not an exception to this. I have decided to use the Reina Valera Gomez and I will explain why.
I will start by giving some of my testimony. In 1992 the first time someone told me about Christ they used the Reina Valera 1909. I was living in Mexicali, B.C., Mexico. I worked for a company that rented commercial buildings since I had received my title as a Bi-Lingual Administrative Assistant in the city of Durango. I was saved through this Bible and the first Bible that I bought was the 1909, a Bible that is close to my heart even today. However, in the first Fundamental Independent Baptist church that I went to, they used the 1960, this was the most common Bible, and the one I used most to preach from. In 1994, I went to a Missions Conference in Santa Catarina, N.L. and for the first time I witnessed something very unusual and new for me. I found brothers in Christ attacking and criticizing the version of the Bible that I used (the Reina Valera 1960). This greatly surprised me, and at the time I was very bothered and frustrated by it all. They stood firmly behind the Antigua (Old Version) 1909. They defended it and refuted those that used any other “modern” version. As time went by, even though I used both Bibles equally, I grew to love the 1960 more and more because it used the word “salvation” (salvacion) instead of “health” (salud), but I always thought that there should be a reconciliation between the two. The word “hades” was without a doubt something that I never did like in the 1960, especially when I tried to confront the false doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. When this would happen I found myself “correcting” the 1960 Bible that used the word hades and use infierno (hell) as the Old Version (1909). Other controversies like, “curse God and die” (maldice a Dios) instead of “bless God and die” (bendice a Dios) in the book of Job 2:9, also, “he that washes his clothes” instead of “he that keepeth his commandments” in Revalations 22:14 always bothered me. As time passed in 1996 God had called me to preach, I started an online ministry (interbiblia.com). My dream was to make the Word of God available to the Spanish speaking world, have articles, and evangelistic material, but I ran into a problem; the Bible that I used was copyrighted. Because of that all of my dreams came to a halt, I couldn’t make the Bible available to the Spanish world. The only version that I could use was the 1909, which was very difficult for me to use and recommend with all of my heart. There was always a prayer in my heart to have a Bible that would balance both Bibles and be available so that anyone could use and distribute it.
By way of Bible programs like “Theophilos”, I started to study the Authorized Version in English (the King James Bible) and I noticed that there was also a controversy about the Bible in this language as well. In 1998 I got my hands on a book entitled, Let’s Weight the Evidence that is published by Chick publications. Since that time I started to understand the influence of the devil in the contemporary Bibles in the English language. While reading the history of the English Bible, I discovered the great difference of how the Bible was brought to the English language, and I also noticed the great Scholarship of the men involved in that translation. On the other hand I always noticed the inconsistencies between the 1909 and the 1960 as well as the older versions. So in 2003 I was in an abnormal situation. A brother came to the church where I was preaching, and was promoting La Biblia de las Américas or “Bible of America” (translator’s note, this is a modern and corrupt Bible in Spanish). Now it was my turn to show why the Reina Valera Bible was better than that one. I found an article written by Terry Watkins which compared 300 verses to the King James Bible and 7 other modern versions. I decided to use this article to compare the verses of La Biblia de las Américas and defend what my Bible in the Reina Valera (1909 and 1960) said. I was very surprised the moment I started looking at what both Reina Valera Bibles said. I found verses in both that were affected by the critical manuscripts, though not all the verses. I finished my article “defending” the Reina Valera Bible, and it was sufficient so that this person could understand our position, and that we couldn’t use his Bible. But without a doubt a dart was stuck in my heart; my eyes were also opened to the need of having a Bible without the influence of the Egyptian Manuscripts, and gnostics, and that I could defend with a clean conscience. Finally the brother using the LBLA left the church very offended, because one of the translators of La Biblia de las Américas was his teacher in seminary and he could not accept that such a Scholar could be wrong on his translation of the Bible . My response was very simple, I told him the problem was not the scholarship of his professor, but rather the text (manuscript) that he used for his translation. I also discovered that inconsistencies between the (1909 and 1960) versions of the Bible in Spanish and the English Bible. The study that I did with La Biblia de las Américas opened my eyes to the influence the devil had brought even to the Spanish Bibles.
From there forward I started to study about the manuscripts. I found out that the Egyptian (spiritually speaking) was not content with our spiritual departure, and had sent their manuscripts to influence our modern Bibles, and to bring them back under their control little by little. The series by Brother Thomas Holland were a great help to my life. I found out that taking a corrupt base text would produce Bibles that were defective. I could see that the hand of God was upon the English Bible, and that God had brought revival through that Bible. There were missionaries that were translating directly from the King James versions into other languages where they didn’t have the Word of God, and millions had been saved throughout the world, thanks to the work of the Bible in English.
The theme of the manuscripts is ignored in the majority of the Spanish Bible seminaries, and the devil has taken advantage of this area in the fundamental circles. In my personal study I concluded that if we ignore this subject then we have no ground to stand on against the modern versions like the Reina Valera Actualizada, Biblia al Día, Versión Popular (translators note, these are modern corrupted Bibles in Spanish) or others that are infested and influenced by the gnostic and Egyptian manuscripts.
I found the Reina Valera Gómez version in an unusual manner. Bro. Gómez has had a sincere attitude and a great heart for the work of this revision. He has had the backing of men of God that know the original languages, and that are experts in translation. I found out about this revision of the Bible that is not influenced with the critical texts, and had been compared to the Authorized Version in English and it caught my attention immediately. With the RVG Bible I see the opportunity to reconcile fundamentalism in Spanish with the fundamentalism in English. With the RVG Bible I see the opportunity to have our Bible printed in our print shops and freely distributed. In the RVG Bible I see a Bible that reconciled the Reina Valera Bibles with the Received Text and Masoretic text, as well as the Authorized Version in English. This is a Bible without the influence of corrupt Egyptian manuscripts and the gnostic texts that are becoming so prominent in our world today.
Fundamental Brethren, I encourage you to study of the diabolic influences in our modern Bibles. It is time for us to unite in the battle against Bibles that have been affected by the enemy. The Reina Valera Gomez does not have verses that are affected by corrupt manuscripts, and in its entirety is the Word of God. Read it, study it, and discover it for yourself. We must unite at once, Spanish speaking fundamentalists as well as English speaking fundamentalists in our labor to reach the world with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Your servant in Christ,
Missionary Ulises Velázquez
Editor de Interbiblia